Is Albee Layer Designing The New Air Section At Kelly Slater’s Wavepool?
Two birds, one ramp!
In the world of professional surfing, Albee Layer is known for three things: big waves, new airs, and complaining.
Albee mostly likes to complain about the WSL’s tendency to reward safe surfing, and as noted yesterday, to avoid aerially-suited conditions altogether, which he believes has stifled the progression of the sport.
Albee often makes comparisons to snowboarding and skateboarding, whose progressive-leaning competitions help to push the sports’ boundaries annually.
While Albee recognizes skate/snowboarding’s inherent advantage of a consistent ramp to launch off, he believes the WSL could push its athlete’s best surfing by offering a revamped judging criteria and a different perception of comp-worthy conditions.
But on a more personal level, Albee also likes to complain that he’s not yet been invited to surf Kelly Slater’s wavepool.
As a friend of Kelly and former Wavepool Champion Of The World, Albee has posted on numerous occasions asking when, exactly, he will receive his golden ticket. While most of these posts are in jest, Albee did take the step to have a board made especially for the pool (which he instead brought to Waco, then Maui).
You know that saying about the squeaky wheel getting the grease?
Well, by complaining about the WSL’s regressive format and the fact that Kelly still hasn’t invited him to the wavepool, Albee might just have gotten his ultimate wish.
According to our sources, Albee has been invited not just to surf the pool (which is technically owned by the WSL), but also to design its new air section.
When asked to verify this rumor, the outspoken Albee replied with: “I will not confirm or deny that allegation,” which is as much of an admission as Stab could hope to receive.
Stab holds no details about when this collaboration will occur, but after spending two days with Albee at the world’s (current) best man-made ramp in Waco, Texas, we’re sure he’ll have some ideas about how to make an equal if-not-better section in Lemoore. (Note: Albee claimed the Waco ramp to be “almost perfect”.)
When Kelly Slater released his 2018 version of the pool (after four months of the facility being closed for “reconstruction”), many were saddened to learn that not much had changed to the shape of the wave. Even more so that there was no added air section.
Considering the mass appeal airs delivered at the recent Founders’ Cup event, in conjunction with the freakout surrounding Waco’s video release, Slater and the WSL likely became motivated to bring an enhanced aerial feature to the wavepool.
By contracting Albee to deliver the specs for a perfect ramp, they’re demonstrating both a willingness to accept criticism and a desire evolve with the progression of the sport, which is a great look for both Slater and the WSL.
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